My Outlander Audio Re-Read Project


My Outlander Audio Re-Read Project

Perhaps I should start out by saying that this post isn’t coming at the start of something, like most posts of this nature do. No, it’s coming just as the end is in sight. Still, I’m on the cusp of doing something that I’ve wanted to do for a little while now, and didn’t want the occasion to pass without sharing it with you guys! Because, Outlander? The EPIC historical fiction, romance, time-traveling, tale of Claire and Jamie Fraser by Diana Gabaldon? One of my favorite series OF. ALL. TIME. ALL THE TIME.

Since we aren’t starting at the beginning, let me take you back there for a second. If any of you have ever seen one of the Outlander books, you know they are humongous. Reading them is often a time-consuming commitment, especially for me. Over the years since I first discovered OUTLANDER–in the romance section of my local Borders (RIP)–I’d managed to make my way, sometimes at a limp, through the first seven books of the series, falling in love with basically everything except Black Jack Randall and Stephen Bonnet along the way. But a hurdle was presenting itself to me: WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD. Book 8. By the time it came out in 2014, I was in the thick of YA/blogging, and never managed to find the time to devote to it. So, in November of 2015, I decided I was going to embark upon an epic quest: re-reading the first seven books via audio (a favorite thing to do) and then listen to book 8 to finish it off.

I finished listening to AN ECHO IN THE BONE on my way home from work today. I’m starting WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD tomorrow.

(Too much drama? Eh, maybe.)


DAVINA. (Photo cred: Outlander TV News)

When I finished ECHO, I took a few deep breaths in my car because tomorrow = uncharted territory. I have no idea what’s going to happy to Jamie, Claire, Brianna, Roger, Jem, Ian…nothing. I’ve spent over a year listening ONLY to these books, and to the mellifluous voice of Davina Porter. When I finish HEART’S BLOOD, 45 hours from tomorrow morning, I’ll have no more Outlander to read. No idea what could come next. I’ll surely go through some period of intense withdrawal accompanied by a urgent need to know what comes next. Because let me tell you, the title of book 9, GO TELL THE BEES I’M GONE, does NOT make me feel ok. I DON’T WANT ANYONE TO BE GONE, DIANA.

But until then, I’m going to make these 45 hours last as long as possible (not hard, since I only listen on my drive to and from work, which is an hour at most total); try not to borrow trouble, as my mom always tells me; and enjoy the shit out of myself.


2016 Favorites + 2017 Anticipations!

2016 favorites

2016 Favorites + 2017 Anticipations!

(aka, What Even Is Blogging, or, In Which Amy Blogs for the First Time in Literal Months)

My dear friends. Remember those few times last year when I was like, “I feel like I’m going to start blogging again soon”? No, me either. Well, a little bit, I remember. Anyway, let’s not get bogged down too much with past promises. I’m feeling like taking this new year to pick up the reins again and get back into the swing of things. I can’t promise that I’ll be posting every day, but I’m going to make a very real effort to post at least twice a week. I probably still won’t be one for scheduling posts, because I am, at my very core, an outrageous procrastinator, but I find myself missing this space more and more. So there you have it, friends. My only New Year’s resolution. Call me out if I’m falling off the wagon, k?

One hat tip: I’m listening to B.B. King’s Auld Lang Syne because it’s jaunty and happy and it’s giving me energy and peppiness to keep my chin up this year. So, thanks to the King of the Blues and Lucille for this post.

Ok. So. In celebration of this turning of the page, I wanted to post about my favorite books from 2016 and the ones I’m looking forward to the most for this year. (Yes, I missed both of these Top Ten Tuesdays.) To the 2016 favorites we go!

[Read more…]

Fortnight of Fright | Halloween Book + Movie Recs

Fortnight of Fright

Halloween Book +  Movie Recs

What kind of book blog would I be if I didn’t share a Halloween Book Recs post for Fortnight of Fright?? That’s right. A bad one. Thankfully, Jennie from The Book Nut is here to save the day with some books AND movies! She’s got some good ones for you!

It’s no secret that we love Halloween at our blog, The Book Nut. So we’re absolutely thrilled to be a part of a Fortnight of Fright!

There’s nothing better than settling down with a scary book or movie during the month of October, so I’ve decided to share a few of my favourites with you today!

1. THE REPLACEMENT by Brenna Yovanoff

Book Recs
My number one scary read, EVER. Babies being taken from their cribs and replaced with “other” children? A whole creepy world underneath the slag heap in town? yeah, this qualifies as the spookiest read I have ever read. It’s also one of my favourites, EVER!


Book Recs


I love vampires. LOVE THEM. Holly Black managed to write her own dark YA version of what reminded me of THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES — and it’s spectacular.


Book Recs


A mother loses her child after moving back to her childhood home, a now abandoned orphanage — riddled with the spirits of long dead children. I don’t even know how to begin to explain how scared I got by this film! I don’t usually scare easily, but this one had me up until dawn so I could go to sleep safely! It’s in Spanish as well which gives the film an even scarier aspect, though how I can’t quite say. I loved it.


Book Recs

The brilliant thing about this one is that it’s both a book AND a film–one that scared me so badly that I refuse to read/watch it again! IT scared me so badly as a child that I was convinced there was a killer clown coming out of the sewers when I walked home from school.

Even as an adult I am super unsettled by the image of Tim Curry as Pennywise.


Book Recs


An EMP goes off. Billions die–but amongst the survivors, a zombie apocalypse starts. In this series, you don’t know who you can trust and who is a “Changed.” I loved this series so much, but it’s so unsettling. READ IT!

Fortnight of Fright | Books + Halloween Candies

Fortnight of Fright

Books + Halloween Candies

What two things go better together than books and candy? Or books and ANYTHING for that matter? Not much, in my opinion. I’m so excited to have Angela from Angela’s Library here to share this awesome book-and-candy-pairing list with Halloween candy!

candyHi everybody – I’m happy to once again be participating in A Fortnight of Fright! My husband and I were recently shopping for candy to pass out to trick-or-treaters, and while we were browsing I started thinking about the clever names the various candies had. That led to me thinking about how some of those names could be equated with different types of books, and the idea for this post was born. Below is a recommended reading list, inspired by popular candies. I hope you enjoy it!

Snickers: Funny Books

  • My Best Friend, The Atlantic Ocean and Other Great Bodies Standing Between Me and My Life With Giulio by Jane Harrington: Written in the form of a journal for English class, this book details a ditzy teenager’s hilarious attempts to steal her best friend’s sexy Italian boyfriend. (Read my review here.)
  • Beauty Queens by Libba Bray: I like to think of Beauty Queens as a comedic version of what The Lord of the Flies would have been like if the plane that crashed on a “deserted” island had carried teen beauty pageant contestants instead of British schoolboys.
  • Play Me Backwards by Adam Selzer: This book had me laughing until my cheeks ached. It features a deadbeat teen whose best friend claims to be Satan, parents who plan “disaster dinners” complete with costumes and alter egos, an epic slushie quest, and lots of hijinks and goofiness.

Skittles: Diverse BooksCandy

  • If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo: This book follows your typical “new girl at school struggles to fit in and find love” plot, with one important exception: that new girl was born a boy. As a heterosexual, cisgender reader, If I Was Your Girl challenged me to view the world from a new perspective and opened my eyes to the various struggles transgender men and women face every day.
  • OCD, The Dude and Me by Lauren Roedy Vaughn: The quirky yet lovable heroine of Vaughn’s novel battles severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Reading about her struggles and endless idiosyncrasies is humorous at times and heartbreaking at others. (Read my review here).
  • Push by Sapphire: Although it’s a short book, I found it incredibly challenging to make it the whole way through Push, as it features horrific abuse and is emotionally draining. All the same, I’m glad I read it, as it let me see through the eyes of someone totally different from myself: a young black girl living in poverty who’s been impregnated multiple times by her own father.

3 Musketeers: Books Featuring Strong Friendships

  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor: Karou, the blue-haired heroine of this trilogy, and Zuzana, her tiny but fierce BFF, share one of my favorite fictional friendships. They’re intensely devoted to one another and are as hilarious individually as they are as a pair.
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: The Raven Cycle series is about magic and fast cars and dreams and psychics, but its heartbeat is the all-consuming friendship shared by the titular Raven Boys and a girl named Blue, who finds herself swept up in the boys’ quest to find an ancient Welsh king.
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: Charlie is a quiet, troubled loner when he starts high school, but that all changes when a group of upperclassmen take him under their wing. Never underestimate the power of friendship to change your life for the better!

milky-way-pic-angelas-libraryMilky Way: Books Set In Outer Space

  • Lightless by C.A. Higgins: Written by an author with a physics degree from Cornell University, Lightless tells the story of those on board a military spaceship: the terrorists who were caught trying to hijack the ship, the computer scientist who is developing a relationship with the ship, and the artificial intelligence system that is rapidly developing a will of its own.
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: When Earth is destroyed in order to build a interplanetary superhighway, a hapless Brit finds himself hitching his way across the universe on a wild and ridiculously funny journey.
  • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner: Described by many as “The Titanic in space,” this novel follows a young man and woman from very different walks of life who are forced to rely on one another after they’re (space)shipwrecked on an unfamiliar planet.

Pixie Stix: Books About Fairy Talescandy

  • Enchanted by Alethea Kontis: This first book in Kontis’ Woodcutter Sisters series is a delightful mash-up of various fairy tales, such as “The Frog Prince,” “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “The 12 Dancing Princesses.” (Read my review here.)
  • Nameless by Lili St. Crow: What would the tale of “Snow White” look like if the princess had been taken in by the Mafia, instead of by seven dwarves? And what if the members of that Mafia were vampires? Well, it’d probably look a lot like this book. (Read my review here.)
  • Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross: Cross’ novel is set in a town where each inhabitant is destined to live out a predetermined role in a fairy tale, whether as villain, hero, princess, etc. It’s brilliant and edgy and one of my favorite fairy tale stories yet.

Fortnight of Fright | Halloween Books + Movies

Fortnight of Fright

Halloween Books + Movies

Can you guys believe that Halloween is just ONE WEEK from today? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN!? As usual, time is flying by. Of course, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be well into the Halloween spirit by now, but just in case you need a crash course in Halloween media in which to indulge to get you just the right amount of spooked, Morgan from Gone with the Words is here to help!

I’m so happy to be participating in Fortnight of Fright again! I’m a big fan of being festive and I particularly love Halloween and fall! One of my favorite things to do is watch Halloween movies (although I don’t like horror movies). Here’s a list of movies that are on my must list:

Hocus Pocus: a true cult classic and a forever favorite. In fact, I wrote about it two years ago!
The Haunted Mansion: an under the radar pick and much better than you might think! It’s spooky and funny and has a lot of fun nods to the ride.
Casper: “Can I keep you?” I’ll never be over that, or the music.
Monster House: a perfect Halloween treat, it’s great.
Goosebumps: I saw this in theaters last year and immediately wanted to add it to my Halloween lineup! Fun and scary.
Ghostbusters: another that had to be added to my annual list. I laughed so much and the ghosts are creepy!
Practical Magic: romantic, tragic, and so very witchy.
Hotel Transylvania: lots of fun, I love all of the monsters!
Paranorman: Sad but wonderful with a historical twist, and set in a Salem-like town.
The Covenant: I watched this for the first time recently (couldn’t resist the attractive cast!). It’s cheesy but the atmosphere is spooky and perfect for Halloween, as is the witchy storyline.


Unfortunately I’m a very moody reader so even though I have good intentions, I’m not great at sticking to lists. These five books are on my October TBR though, rife with witches, demons, faeries, and creepy mysteries. All sound like good seasonal books to me!

What movies do you like to watch every year? Are there any seasonal books on your TBR?

Fortnight of Fright | Laurie’s Magic 4-Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Fortnight of Fright

Laurie’s Magic 4-Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Guys. I need these muffins. Four ingredients? Pumpkin spice? YES. Thank you, Emily from Emily Reads Everything for sharing Laurie’s awesome recipe!

Laurie’s Magic 4-Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Pumpkin spice muffins

Hello! I’m Emily from Emily Reads Everything. Thank you so much to Amy for having me here today to share this muffin recipe. These muffins come from my friend, Laurie. It is told she found the recipe on as a recipe for pumpkin cakes. She adapted the recipe a little and history was made. These muffins are quick and easy to make and moist and delicious to eat. Plus they aren’t terrible for you, so don’t feel too guilty if they all disappear like magic within 24 hours of baking them.

This recipe calls for cinnamon chips. If you can find them, they come from Hershey’s and they look like chocolate chips, except not. When I baked this batch, I couldn’t find cinnamon chips, so I substituted Greek yogurt chips. Still delicious. White Chocolate chips or even nuts would work as well (but nuts are gross).

pumpkin spice muffins

Deliciousness is in your future!

pumpkin spice muffins

YUMMMM. Thanks, Emily!

Twitter: @emren
Facebook: EmilyReadsEverything
Instagram: @EmilyReadsEverything
Bloglovin’: EmilyReadsEverything
GoodReads: EmilyReadsEverything

Fortnight of Fright | Frightlopedia Review + Giveaway

Fortnight of Fright

Frightlopedia by Julie Winterbottom Review + Giveaway

FrightlopediaFriends, I’m very excited about today’s Fortnight of Fright post! I have to say a big thanks to Estelle at Workman Publishers, I received a copy of Julie Winterbottom’s FRIGHTLOPEDIA and instantly loved it. It’s the perfect mix of facts, great artwork, fun stories, fables, crafts, and spooky illustrations. Any young (or old!) lover of scary, silly, creepy things will get a big kick out of it.

FRIGHTLOPEDIA is set up exactly like an encyclopedia–separate entries for different topics–with bonus entries like how to say “boo” in different languages, how to make fake blood, a bracket at the end to help you find your greatest fear. I love this. It’s the perfect balance of facts (spiders, the Paris Catabombs, flesh-eating plants, and more), urban legends (being from New Jersey, I have a soft spot for the Monsters entry, because it mentions my Jersey Devil), how-tos (the aforementioned fake blood is accompanied by entries about conducting seances and how to escape from quicksand), and a few ghost stories sprinkled in for good measure (all delightfully creepy).

There was one neat feature that I didn’t notice right away, but once I did, I appreciated it from a practical point of view (I know, boring). But! Since FRIGHTLOPEDIA is aimed at younger readers, and we all know that sometimes younguns have different tolerance levels for scary things, there’s a Fright meter at the beginning of each entry.

Something else that I loved about FRIGHTLOPEDIA? The illustrations. They have a little humor to them, I thought, especially because they reminded me of less scary versions of Stephen Gammel’s illustrations from SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK. I loved Stefano Tambellini’s work throughout! Here’s a sample from his website:


Super fun, right?! I thought so, too.

I really enjoyed FRIGHTLOPEDIA, guys. If you have little ones, I can’t recommend it enough, especially now around Halloween time. Because of the way it’s structured, it’s easy to pass over things that might be too scary and focus on a craft or something less frightening. I loved the different types of entries as well, especially the ones on actual scary places. Those always fascinate me. Thumbs up, Julie Winterbottom!

Because I enjoyed FRIGHTLOPEDIA so much, and because the folks at Workman Publishing are dolls, I’ve got one copy of FRIGHTLOPEDIA to give away to one luck reader! HUZZAH!

A few ground rules: must be 13 to enter and live in the United States. The giveaway starts NOW and runs through the end of Fortnight of Fright (that would be the stroke of midnight on 11/1). Enter here to win!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fortnight of Fright | Halloween Glass Jar Crafts

Fortnight of Fright

Halloween Glass Jar Crafts

Hello, friends! Happy Fortnight of Fright! I’m so glad to have Ashley from Must Love Books here to share some super fun Halloween crafts!! A Pinterest success, I’d say! Thanks so much for stopping by, Ashley!

I am very excited to be a part of Fortnight of Fright this year for a several reasons, one being I love everything Fall. The change in weather, scarves, boots, crunching leaves AND Halloween!Fall also means more crafting and I’ve had my eye on a few Halloween crafts on Pinterest I’ve been dying to try. I decided on two glass jar projects that are pretty easy to complete; potion bottles for decoration and mason jar luminaries!

Potion Bottles

As soon as I saw these I knew I had to make my own version. They would look great with any Halloween decor and they are not that hard to make!

Fortnight of Fright

I decided to use chalk paint for this project (ArtMinds brand in Onyx and Metallic Copper). I really like the chalk look and it tends to be better for glass than spray paint. I bought the bottles and the paint from Michaels (I used my 50% off one item and my 25% off total purchase!), everything else I had on hand. I used a regular paint brush also and it actually worked better than the ones shown here. Since I used new jars I didn’t have to clean them, but if you use anything you have at home, be sure to clean them well before painting them; maybe run them through the dishwasher first.

Fortnight of Fright

Since this was my first time using chalk paint, I let the jars dry for a couple of hours before applying the next coat.

When I bought the Copper color, I wanted to use it to kind of antique the bottles, I was hoping it would add some depth jar instead of just being black. You can really see what the copper looks like best in this picture.

Fortnight of Fright

Next I used a glue gun to write on the side of the jars. I used glitter glue sticks I had on hand and used Dragon Scales, Eye of Newt, Bat Blood, and Hemlock for mine.

Fortnight of Fright

I decided I didn’t like how the glitter looked so I went back and painted a layer of black then copper over the glue, then sealed them with a chalk wax.

I love the final result. There are so many variations of colors and design you could do with this project. I’m already thinking of new ideas for next year!

Fortnight of Fright

Mason Jar Lumineers

Fortnight of Fright

Again, I bought my mason jars from Michaels, but I went to Wal-Mart for my spray paint. Sometimes the cheaper the spray paint, the better it will stick to the glass. Before you spray your jars, make sure you used isopropyl alcohol to clean them really well. I don’t know why this works but it does. Something about the alcohol makes the paint stick to the glass better. I used my Cricut to cut out vinyl for the faces but you can use masking tape or even pre-cut stickers from any craft store.

Fortnight of Fright

I can not even tell you how much I love these Lumineers. They are so cute and they can be used anywhere; a mantle, porch stairs, bedrooms, table centerpieces, hallways…

Fortnight of Fright

I used battery operated, all-white Christmas lights to illuminate the jars. The battery pack fits right inside the jar and you can’t see it when the jar is lit up–perfect! I already have plans for all kinds of seasonal mason jar crafts, maybe even some Disney themed ones!

Thank you Amy, Alyssa and Brittany for hosting Fortnight of Fright and allowing me to gush over my Halloween crafts! Happy Halloween everyone!

Fall TBR

Fall TBR

So, I missed the Top Ten Tuesday for the top ten books on my fall TBR and I’m really annoyed at myself. I LOVE THOSE. I love picking books I’m looking forward to! This is why I live!! So in order to rectify this grievous error, I’m posting my fall TBR. Actually, let me clarify: I’m posting the books I’m excited about and HOPE to read but probably won’t get to, with a few exceptions, this fall.

Gemina (Illumine #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | DUH. ILLUMINAE was one of the best books I read last year, and I’m BEYOND looking forward to GEMINA.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer | It’s always interesting when an author known for one work begins a new one, but I have great confidence in Marissa Meyer and her ability to weave a good story and snare me in her grip. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Alice in Wonderland, but that’s not going to keep me from reading HEARTLESS.

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo | I’m reading this one right now and I love it. I love Kaz and Inej and Nina and Ketterdam and thieves and revenge and everything.

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills | I really enjoyed Emma Mills’ debut–which I sadly neglected to review–so I’m very excited for her second book. I like the missing artwork angle, and of course the friendships and romance and all the other good stuff I’m sure is between the covers on this one. The GORGEOUS covers, I might add.

Illustrated Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin | I’m curious about what this one is going to be like, since I know it’s not a graphic novel (already have those), but OF COURSE I’m buying it. Is it going to be like the illustrated Harry Potter books? OMG IS IT?!

Honor (The Breaking Point #1) by Jay Crownover | If you’ve been around the blog or my Twitter before, the chances of you recognizing my love for Jay Crownover are high. Her books do sometimes get a bit repetitive, but I still enjoy them all the same.

Girls in the Moon by Janet McNally | Hearing SUCH good things about this one! The kids-of-rockstars angle is really doing it for me, as are the complex family relationships.

The Queen of Blood (The Queens of Renthia #1) by Sarah Beth Durst | I hope this book is good, guys. The “spirits in the trees” remind me of Mother Willow from Pocahontas, but there are some mixed reviews. Fingers are crossed!

Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh | This book–about a witch’s apprentice at the turn of the 20th century–sounds creepy and dark, and anything that involves ominous seas or bodies of water always amps up the shiver quotient for me. Don’t know why.

The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia | I’ve never actually read anything by Kami Garcia. Yeah, I know. This one just sounds like a really good contemp with some danger and romance, kind of like Katie McGarry’s books.

What books are you guys looking forward to this fall?

Top Ten Tuesday | Top Ten Audiobook Narrators

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Audiobook Narrators

I love audiobooks, guys. LOVE THEM. Listen to them every day. They get me back and forth to work, and they often make me wish my commute was longer so that I could listen some more. Nothing can make–or ruin–an audiobook faster than the narrator. I, personally, don’t like cast narrated books. They’re too confusing for me to follow. So my favorite audiobooks are single narrators, or different narrators for different chapter POVs, and if I can snag a book narrated by one of these folks? I will legit download books they’ve narrated just because it’s them. I’ve downloaded books I’ve never heard of before just because of the narrator. If you’re new to audiobooks, I can’t recommend these narrators enough. But be prepared to spend some quality time with them; they don’t really narrate short books. Oops!

PS. These examples are just a small handful of each narrator’s work (with the possible exception of Steve West, who is amazing but who also narrated a few self-help books, I believe). Search Audible for all the things!


Narrates: Harry Potter, The Night Circus6_2

Narrates: The Scorpio Races (with Fiona Hardingham), An Ember in the Ashes5_2 Narrates: The Raven Cycle4_2 Narrates: Gentlemen Bastards series, literally tons of other books10_2 Narrates: Leviathan series3_2 Narrates: Mistborn series2_2 Narrates: Kingkiller Chronicle, Doll Bones1_2 Narrates: Outlander series, The Mists of Avalon9_2 Narrates: Daughter of Smoke and Bone series8_2

Narrates: Throne of Glass series